Donald Trump apologized to Julian Assange if he said that Russia was not involved in the Democratic party’s email leak, a London court was told.
The extraordinary request was filed with the Westminster magistrates’ court before the opening of Assange’s legal battle to block extradition attempts to the United States next week.
Assange’s attorney Edward Fitzgerald QC referred to evidence that former Republican MP Dana Rohrabacher had been visiting Assange, now 48, while still in the Ecuadorian embassy in August 2017.
A statement from Assange’s attorney, Jennifer Robinson, shows “Mr. Rohrabacher will visit Mr. Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering forgiveness or some other way out, if Mr. Assange … would say that Russia had nothing to do with the DNC losses, “Fitzgerald told the Westminster magistrates’ court.
A series of extremely embarrassing emails about Democrats’ and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign were hacked before being published by WikiLeaks in 2016.
District judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is listening to the case in Westminster, said the evidence is admissible.
Assange is wanted in America to face 18 charges, including the conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, on the publication of US cables ten years ago.
He will face 175 years in prison if found guilty. He is accused of working with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to reveal hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
The extradition hearing is expected to begin Monday at Woolwich Crown Court, starting a week of legal discussions. It will therefore be updated and will continue with three weeks of tests scheduled to begin on May 18.
The decision, which is expected months later, will likely be appealed by the losing side, whatever the outcome.
Assange has been detained in Belmarsh prison since last September after serving a 50-week prison sentence for violating his bail conditions while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
He entered the building in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual offense, which he has always denied and subsequently abandoned.
Assange appeared in court on Wednesday with the videolink of Belmarsh prison, wearing dark sweatpants and a brown sweater over a white shirt.